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‘She Was Slaughtered:’ Winnipeg Jury Hears Closing Arguments in Murder Case

May 7, 2019 4:10 PM | The Canadian Press

By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

Christine Wood

A woman holds a flower and a photo of Christine Wood during a vigil in Winnipeg, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. A Crown prosecutor says a man on trial for killing an Indigenous woman committed a ghastly crime while the defence says he did not mean to cause her harm. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — A Crown prosecutor says a Winnipeg man on trial for killing an Indigenous woman committed a ghastly crime worse than any horror movie.

“How did Christine Wood die? She was slaughtered,” Brent Davidson said in his closing address Tuesday.

He told a jury that the 21-year-old woman’s throat was slit. She was stabbed 11 times. And her skull and leg were broken.

Davidson also pointed to evidence that Wood’s blood was on the floor, walls and stairs of Brett Ronald Overby’s basement.

Overby, 32, admits he is responsible for Wood’s death but has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

His lawyer told the jury that Overby didn’t mean to cause Wood harm, and asked for a verdict of manslaughter.

The jury is to begin deliberating Wednesday.

Wood had travelled to Winnipeg from Oxford House First Nation in remote northern Manitoba in the summer of 2016. She was staying at a hotel with her parents, who were in town to support a family member having surgery, the night she disappeared.

Her body was found 10 months later in a ditch near a farmer’s field just outside the city.

The trial has heard how Wood drank and did drugs while in the city, but the Crown told the jury that she was a young woman from an isolated community who got “swallowed up by the city of Winnipeg.”

She met Overby through the dating website Plenty of Fish and they decided to go for a few drinks.

Overby testified that they decided to go back to his house, where they had more drinks and attempted unsuccessfully to purchase cocaine. They also had sex on his couch, Overby said, but as the night went on Wood began acting erratically and punched him in the face.

He told court that Wood pressured him to have unprotected sex and took a condom off him.

Overby said it felt like he was raped.

He further testified that he took Wood down to his basement to show her a mouse skeleton. He said Wood then came at him with a knife and he blacked out.

He next remembered seeing Wood lying on the floor in a pool of blood, he said.

“Brett Overby killed Christine Wood. He admitted to unlawfully causing her death,” defence lawyer Sarah Inness told jurors.

“But that doesn’t mean he’s guilty of second-degree murder.”

She said Wood didn’t deserve to die but Overby “snapped” after the woman came at him with the weapon.

He had no motive for murder, Inness said.

“(Her) violent and unpredictable behaviour provoked a reaction,” she said.

The prosecutor said Overby can’t be believed, because he lied to family, friends and police.

It doesn’t make sense that Wood, a small woman, would present a physical threat and cause Overby to inflict injuries “worse than any horror movie,” said Davidson.

“Why not say aliens killed her. It’s almost as ridiculous.”

CP - The Canadian Press


Tags: Crime | Death | Winnipeg